By Louis Smith
Today's Scripture: Philippians 1:1-27–2:18
Central Thought: Believers' lives should measure up to the term Christian.
'I never would have thought a Christian would do something like that,” one sales associate sneered to a fellow employee. The comment was made about an angry outburst a third employee had made earlier. Either of the two employees, in the same situation, would have responded the same way. But the third employee had made it clear to everyone at work that she was a Christian. In the minds of her fellow employees, this meant that she had to live by a higher standard than everyone else.
Was it hypocritical of these two employees to criticize behavior they themselves were guilty of? Certainly. Was it unreasonable for them to expect better behavior of someone who has publicly professed to Christianity? Certainly not.
In today's passage, Paul called upon believers to display a 'manner of life…worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:20, ESV). What constitutes this 'worthy” lifestyle? Unity (Philippians 1:27–30; 2:1) and humility—an attitude that puts others ahead of us (Philippians 2:1-11)—are two worthy traits. As Christians we need to strive to get along with each other, and we need to be willing to put the needs of others sometimes ahead of our own.
What happens when believers make a conscious effort to live this way? According to Paul, we 'shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). In other words, we differ from the darkness so prevalent around us. A life lived like that is worthy of the title of 'Christian.”
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to consciously examine my life and continually strive to live up to the wonderful name of Christian.
Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 60:1-62:5; Philippians 1:27-2:18; Psalm 72:1-20; Proverbs 24:11-12